Tayler was here for a little over two months as well. In her time in Moshi, she helped lead children’s ministry projects and worked on several projects regarding social media for Kingdom Families. She was one of our main bloggers and made regular updates on our different social media accounts. Here is a little bit about Tayler’s time here and what she learned about the Lord, herself, and her role in this ministry now that she is back in the states.
What do you feel like God taught you during your summer internship?
There are a lot of things that God has taught me during my internship with Kingdom Families. I would say the main thing though that God taught me, was a new understanding of what it means to love people. Brandon Stiver said it simply, “we have two arms and two feet. Arms to pick up a vulnerable child, and feet to get to the vulnerable child. And when we care for the least of these we are caring for Jesus (see Matt. 25:40)”. We need to care for the least of these, because God has brought us into His family and if we call ourselves Christians then we must do the same. God’s greatest commandment is to love Him and love people. During my time in Tanzania, I realized that the things of this world mean nothing and Jesus means everything. Jesus is love and that is what I want my life to look like. I want all my life to tell of who Jesus is.
What have you learned about family-based orphan care?
Being apart of Kingdom Families this summer really opened my eyes to what orphan care should look like according to what God says. God sets the lonely in families and that should be the goal for every orphan. I got to see how the message of adoption and family based orphan care was well received by the people of Tanzania. I also saw the willingness and eagerness people showed to bring in vulnerable children into their homes. It was the spirit of God, blowing in the churches Kingdom Families ministered to. What a beautiful sight it was to see. I also learned that there is a lot that goes into keeping children in families. For instance family strengthening which is empowering families in communities, follow ups with foster families, and meetings with social welfare. There is a lot of advocacy that goes along with family based orphan care as well. Overall I learned a lot about family based orphan care and that it is what is best for vulnerable families and orphans.
What is something you learned about Tanzanian culture during your time here?
Tanzanian culture is so colorful and beautiful. I feel so grateful to have been apart of the incredible culture this summer. One of the things I learned quickly was Tanzania time and just how different it is compared to America. For instance in America we have a schedule, we have to be on time and we can’t be late. Whereas in Tanzania there is more than enough hours in the day, and when you say you are going to leave at 9am if you leave at 10am it is okay. In a way the days are clock-less in Tanzania, which was so refreshing to experience.
What are some challenges you faced during your time here?
A challenge I faced during my time was trying to register for my classes for college and trying to communicate with admissions counselors etc. especially with the time difference. So trying to figure out all of that was pretty challenging. Another challenge I had was the last few days leading up to my departure. It was challenging in the sense that I knew I would be leaving an incredible country, and the Stivers which was really hard to grasp. I would say that although it was a challenge, it was a privilege to know a few days before I left just how much I’d miss Tanzania and the amazing people I lived with during the summer.
How do you feel like God is calling you to respond after your summer spent interning with Kingdom Families?
After interning with Kingdom Families I think it is important to continue to share what I learned. For instance, sharing with my church what institutionalization does to a child’s psychological development, and how orphanage tourism is in no way what is best for children. Simply finding better ways we can serve on short term mission trips is something I plan on doing when my church’s next missions trip comes about. Lastly, continuing to advocate for the least of these whether I am back in Tanzania or wherever I am in the world because that is what love is.